Zdeno Chara is big.
He is also a bigger liar.
Pure hockey enthusiasts already had a good idea that the Canadiens ‘ speed was too mutch for the Bruins. Hockey against hockey , stride for stride – Montreal has a sharper edge over their older, tougher cousins. The moment that Ryan White beat the tea out of Boychuk after P.K. Subban”s knee was almost sent to Dover – it was as clear as a teenager’s face after a week of using Clearasil that the Habs would win the game.
Montreal did to the Les Bruins exactly what their predecessors did to the Broad Street Bullies in 1975.’ Back in the day ‘ – Bowman sent out five of his toughest players for the first face – off in the first game against the then Stanley Cup Champion Flyers. Bowman knew that the Flyers would not be able to skate with the Habs yet at that point in time – Fred Shero’s goons were not afraid of anything. Bowman sent a message by sending the likes of Pierre Bouchard and Rick Chartraw onto the ice. The Habs’ fivesome beat up on the fearless Flyers and from that point forward – the Montreal Canadiens etched fear into the previously stoney hearts of the gang from Philadelphia.
Ryan White sent a duplicate of that message to Boston last night and as they say … the rest was history.
Lars Eller must be hanging out with that noted goals scorer Hal Gill. Eller managed to skate almost an entire season with more absent marks than a deliquent Justin Bieber from music class . Eller was so invisible – the fans were starting to think he was Scott Gomez. Well , as fast as things can change , they did. Lars , the contributor of five goals until last night – netted two including the winner as the line of Eller , Kostistyn and Moen remain the Habs best in the past seven games.
Les Habitants were up by a 4 – 0 count and had their skates heading to the dressing room for the second intermission when the Bruins’ captain decided it was time to deliver some payback . Retribution for a two handed push delivered to his back from Max Pacioretty the last time the two teams met in Montreal. Pacioretty chipped the puck beyond Chara just outside the Hab blueline and then Max gained the outside on the Boston defenceman and was headed toward a potential breakaway – time allowing.
I was a defenceman for 16 years and I know exactly what was going through Chara’s brain as it twirled among the rafters at the Bell Center and faced the Habs’ speedster.
- His first thought was ; “Sh*t ! He’s got speed on me and there is no way I can catch him. Once I pivot – the half a step that I will lose gives him the edge.
- His second thought ; ” My only chance to stop him is to angle him into the boards and risk taking an interference penalty. ” ( THE PUCK WAS HEADED PAST THE CENTER ICE LINE DURING THIS THOUGHT).
- The third and final idea as he was pushing Pacioretty into the boards : ” Hey ! Wait a second …it ‘s that Pacioretty dude ! I’ ll give him a shove from behind just like he did to me ! “
I am not saying that Chara intentionally rammed Pacioretty’s noggin into the partition . If he had calculated all this as a master plan – a movie by the name of Silence of the Lambs should have him in the starring roll. I do think that Chara intentionally pushed Max with intent to deliver a message and Chara was well aware of where the pair were on the ice. Chara was guilty of interference , hitting from behind and reckless behavior.
The referee handed out a five minute misconduct for interference and now , the NHL has deemed the hit a good one and that in hockey – ‘ accidents happen ‘. I feel as if I bought tickets to a Rolling Stones concert and discovered the Backstreet Boys in their place.
THE NHL – A Beer league with bigger cases of beer.
Crosby is out with a concussion.For how long … ? Noone knows. Marc Savard and Patrice Bergeron of the same Bruins suffered simular fates with Savard possibly out for a career. All these injuries have forced numerous studies from minor hockey to the pros and the NHL has stated that there will be no more tolerance for headshots or hits from behind at the elite level.
Watch a replay of the Chara hit on Pacioretty and check out the photos …?
It does not matter whether Chara hit ‘ Patches ‘ intentionally or not. What does matter is that ;
- A : Pacioretty was hit from behind
- B : Chara’s elbow clearly forced the Habs forward ‘ s head into the partition.
A headshot and a hit from behind. Are we missing something here ? Did someone call me for dinner and forget to set the table ?
Todd Bertuzzi hit Moore from behind , pounced on him and then punched him until his neck broke. Bertuzzi was suspended for the remainder of the season and the playoffs. Afer all of the information was gathered , the suspension was given for the following reasons ;
- intent to injure
- hitting from behind and presumably reckless behavior
Chara’ s hit from behind and a push to Pacioretty’s backside could be either intent to injure , reckless behavior , roughing or all three. Pacioretty has suffered a broken vertebrae and sustained a grade 3 concussion. There is no guarantee that like Moore – Pacioretty will ever play hockey again.
What is the difference between the two incidents on paper ? Both occorences warranted penalties and both incidents ended with broken bones and messed up brains.If this injury to Pacioretty was caused by Sean Avery would the Ranger pest be playing the next time the Blueshirts suit up ? Non monsieur ! Not on Bettman’s watch …not while Colin Campbell , the man in charge of discipline is rowing the boat along the money shore.
Instigator Rule to Blame
Aside from the odd occasion that I enjoy one of Don Cherry’s coats – I generally disagree with the aged Kingstonian. I do agree with his discust over the instigator rule.
The rule which automatically ejects a player for ‘ starting a brouhaha ‘ from a game has ceased all players from policing the game within a game. Hits like Chara ‘s would never happen if Chara was deeply afraid of the repercussions the next time the teams met.The Bruin behemoth may face some retribution from the Habs yet not likely as noone on the Montreal squad wants to lose a game , risk missing the playoffs and donating a hefty fine to the NHL pension fund.
It is time the NHL removes the silly rule and allows it ‘s players to play the game the same way their fathers and grandfathers played for one hundred years.
Currently – the NHL refers to it ‘s product as ‘ The Greatest Game on Ice ‘.
Godspeed Max – get well soon …